Never warm your car engine on a cold morning

iced up car need to warm up car engine

Is leaving your car to warm up in a morning a bad thing?

Do you just leave the car to warm your engine up before setting off for work in a morning? Is it easy enough to nip out, start the engine, and then finish your breakfast before setting off for the day? But can it harm your car? Why do people say you should never warm your car engine in a morning?

The action of warming your car engine comes from the days when old cars used to have a carburettors. You needed to warm up the vehicle before setting off to make sure your engine was  at optimum operating temperature. Drivers with new cars don’t need to do this anymore.

old ford taunus with carburettor

What happens in cars now?

Modern cars are fuel injected and driving off straight away is the best approach for these new engines. A gentle drive away from home will quickly warm your car engine up to optimum working temperature.

Is it true that you should never warm your car engine on a cold morning?

Yes. Idling can do you vehicle more harm than good. Leaving the engine running for a long period of time will affect the oil in your engine, and will use fuel unnecessarily. Here is a blog we wrote about how much money idling costs your business.

Leaving your vehicle idling and going back inside to finish your breakfast could also land you in trouble with the police. Rule 123 of the Highway Code states:

You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road. Generally, if the vehicle is stationary and is likely to remain so for more than a couple of minutes, you should apply the parking brake and switch off the engine to reduce emissions and noise pollution. However it is permissible to leave the engine running if the vehicle is stationary in traffic or for diagnosing faults.

Why can’t you warm your car engine on a cold morning?

Drivers have to be in control of their vehicle at all times. If you need to go back into the house you should turn off the engine and lock the car before you go in.

car keys left in ignition

Leaving your vehicle unattended when you warm your car engine also leaves you open to theft. Drivers who leave their engines running and pop back into the house are a car thief’s dream. It only takes seconds for them to jump into your car and drive off, as you have kindly left the keys in for them. Car insurers rarely pay out if the keys are left in the car.

What is the best thing to do if your car is covered in snow and ice?

  • Go out to your vehicle
  • Turn on the engine to demist your windows as you are dealing with the outside of the car
  • Remove all snow from your windows and the top of your car
  • De-ice with a scraper or spray
    • never try to clear ice with boiling water. The heat from the boiling water on the freezing cold glass could cause your windscreen to crack

Keep a check on idling

If you need to keep an eye on idling times across all of your business vehicles then it is worth investing in vehicle tracking. The team at Satmo can tell you exactly how our software will help streamline your business and save you money. Call us now on 01274 587748 or leave your details here and we will call you back.


Fiona Taylor is the Sales Manager at award winning Satmo Vehicle Tracking. If you feel you need help with your fleet, want to gain back control, save some money and time then please get in touch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *